KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKapow!

I’m not gonna pretend to have the words that can turn 20 strikeouts and a walkoff home run into something more spectacular than 20 strikeouts and a walkoff home run.

Twenty strikeouts. And a walkoff home run.

That was the story today for the Dodgers, who outlasted Cincinnati in 11 innings, 1-0, on Yasiel Puig’s blast to win their 26th game out of 32, matching their best stretch of that length in Los Angeles history.

Los Angeles has opened up a 2 1/2 game lead in the National League West, and without for a moment believing that the divisional race won’t still end up a fight, I have begun to open up room in my consciousness for the pursuit of the best record in the league.

Steadily, the Dodgers have been gaining ground here, too.

Cincinnati, I thought, was a very impressive opponent. Yet the Dodgers not only won three of four from the Reds, they held them to the following from Friday through Sunday: 29 innings, 11 hits, two runs, three walks, 24 strikeouts, 0.63 ERA.

Los Angeles wasn’t exactly lighting the scoreboard on fire, especially today. The 20 strikeouts were, by two, a franchise record dating back to Brooklyn for games of any length. When Brooklyn and Boston played to a 26-inning tie in 1920, the two teams combined for only 14 strikeouts. At one point, Cincinnati retired 11 Dodgers in a row with 10 strikeouts sandwiching a caught stealing.

That misbegotten baserunner was Puig, who went jazzhands on the basepaths all series. He was also one of four Dodgers to strikeout at least three times Sunday – another franchise record. Meanwhile, Puig went 5 for 15 with two walks and the no-doubt home run against the Reds – not so bad for a so-called struggling player.

A moment has to be devoted to a couple of pitchers who have had their ups and downs this season: Chris Capuano, who threw 6 2/3 shutout innings, and Brandon League, who pitched the final two for his third victory since Tuesday. Since the All-Star break, League has pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings.

Los Angeles is off Monday, then takes on the New York Yankees on Tuesday and Wednesday, capped by a heartdropping matchup between Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Jon…good to see you’re coming around to my way of thinking…we can definitely take the number 1 seed especially since we have a 4 game set against the cards right after the yankees and cubbies

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT
  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • Anonymous

    >> I have begun to open up room in my consciousness for the pursuit of the best record in the league.

    In the new playoff structure with the second wild card, the advantage of the number one seed is now substantial. While the other two division leaders play each other in the NLDS, the number one seed gets to play the winner of the wild card game, who probably already burnt their ace starter in the single game wild card round (while the three division leaders got a day of rest which helps them to reset their rotations).

  • Dodger Fan Weekly

    Love your blog! Not the same old, same old!